[Grammar] centuries

Meja

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Hello,

I'm a bit confused about whether I should use a singular or plural noun in situations like these:

It was the most prominent between the 18th and 20th century.
It used to happen in the 18th and 19th century.
... from the 18th to the 21st century.

Is it correct to use a singular noun in these examples?

Thanks.
 

bubbha

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Strange. I think "centuries" is correct in all three examples.
 

Meja

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I perceive it this way: from the 19th (century) to the 21st century. Yet, I have seen the other form as well, so I am not sure what's better (safer) to use.
 
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jutfrank

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If you label the examples as 1), 2), 3), I would use:

1) centuries (but this is not a good example. Does it include all three? If so, then find a better way to phrase it)
2) centuries (I don't know how you would justify singular here)
3) century (depending on context, I would assume this refers to a single point in time (in the 18th century) to another point in time (in the 20th century). In that case, it can be read as ... from the 18th [century] to the 20th century)
 

jutfrank

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I perceive it this way: from the 19th (century) to the 21st century. Yet, I have seen the other form as well, so I am not sure what's better (safer) to use.

Having thought a bit more, I don't think there's any way to coherently justify using a plural form here. centuries is incorrect.
 

Meja

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If you label the examples as 1), 2), 3), I would use:

1) centuries (but this is not a good example. Does it include all three? If so, then find a better way to phrase it)
2) centuries (I don't know how you would justify singular here)
3) century (depending on context, I would assume this refers to a single point in time (in the 18th century) to another point in time (in the 20th century). In that case, it can be read as ... from the 18th [century] to the 20th century)

Thanks.

Firstly, I'm not sure what would be a better way to phrase 1). Should I use from...to...?

And I would justify singular in the same way in all the examples, but that may be the transfer from my native language.

If I choose a different noun, would these be correct or should I use a plural noun:
Find ten adjectives between the first and the 12th line of the text.
Underline all the adjectives in the 1st, 2nd and 5th sentence.
I have read all the stories, from the first to the last page of the magazine.
 

jutfrank

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Firstly, I'm not sure what would be a better way to phrase 1). Should I use from...to...?

It's fine to use from...to or between...and but the problem is you're being too imprecise for such a narrow range. You either need a slightly wider range, or to be more precise:

between 1761 and 1914
between the early 18th century and the late 20th century
between the ninth and twelfth centuries


Find ten adjectives between the first and the 12th line of the text.
I would use lines but line is okay, with the justification that there is a 'missing' [line] after first.

Underline all the adjectives in the 1st, 2nd and 5th sentence.
You need plural here.

I have read all the stories, from the first to the last page of the magazine.
You need singular here.
 

Meja

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Thank you for the answers.

While the second example seems a bit different, the first and the third one (ones?) are rather similar in my opinion. So, do you know what the explanation could be why you chose different forms for them?
 

jutfrank

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While the second example seems a bit different, the first and the third one (ones?) are rather similar in my opinion. So, do you know what the explanation could be why you chose different forms for them?

You're right that they seem similar. The reason I'd give for suggesting the singular is that it uses from...to.... This construction uses singular nouns.

from page 2 to page 7
between pages 2 and 7
 

Meja

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from page 2 to page 7
between pages 2 and 7
So, we can also say between page 2 and page 7, and we cannot say from pages 2 to 7, and, if I got it well, we can use both structures with "between A and B" and only singular form with "from A to B"?


Having accepted "between the first and the 12th line of the text" as a possible way of saying it, would you accept "between the ninth and twelfth century" as well?
 

jutfrank

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So, we can also say between page 2 and page 7, and we cannot say from pages 2 to 7, and, if I got it well, we can use both structures with "between A and B" and only singular form with "from A to B"?

Yes.

Having accepted "between the first and the 12th line of the text" as a possible way of saying it, would you accept "between the ninth and twelfth century" as well?

I wouldn't correct in a student's writing but I wouldn't write it like that.
 

Meja

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Thank you.

If I wanted to read more about this in a grammar book or on the internet, and see more examples, what (title) should I type/look for?

Also, is it better to use a. than b.?

a."between the ninth and twelfth century"
b."between the ninth and the
twelfth century"

 

jutfrank

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If I wanted to read more about this in a grammar book or on the internet, and see more examples, what (title) should I type/look for?

About what specifically? What more is there to know?

Also, is it better to use a. than b.?

a."between the ninth and twelfth century"
b."between the ninth and the
twelfth century"

I think b. is a little clearer.
 
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